Home Computer: Knowing when to call a halt

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The Independent Online
Inevitably, there comes a time when, in spite of your best efforts, you cannot make the computer behave as the manual says. You have found what you need and typed what you are told, but your personal Hal refuses to open the pod bay doors. In desperation, you try wilder and wilder options . . .

Stop. It is reckoned that upwards of 90 per cent of data loss is through what the analysts darkly call 'human interaction': people doing things they really do not understand.

Resist this. You have done your bit, you have read the manual and followed instructions. If that does not work, it is not your fault. Call the company - part of the cost of computer products goes towards technical support, that implicit acceptance that things can go wrong.

It makes things a lot easier all round if you are properly prepared before calling. Have the manual to hand and, if possible, the errant program running while you are on the telephone.

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